Edgewater walking tours

Walk Edgewater

Enjoy views of the historic buildings of Edgewater in our own unique outdoor museum. Edgewater has three historic districts, designated by the U.S. Department of the Interior, and many blocks filled with historic homes. Tours will be led by knowledgeable guides. For descriptions of the tours, click “more…” below.

Note: There are 8 tours available. Sign up before they sell out.

Discover the Art Underfoot:
DATE: June 15, 2024; TIME: 10:30 a.m.

Bryn Mawr Historic District:
DATE: June 21, 2024; TIME: 6:00 p.m.

Lakewood Balmoral Historic District:
DATE: June 26, 2024; TIME: 6:30 p.m.

Andersonville Historic District:
DATE: July 7, 2024; TIME: 11:00 a.m.

Sheridan Road Then and Now:
DATE: July 20, 2024; TIME: 11:00 a.m.

Surprising Broadway:
DATE: July 21, 2024; TIME: 1:00 p.m.

North Edgewater Beach:
DATE: July 24, 2024; TIME: 5:30 p.m.

Edgewater Glen:
DATE: August 17, 2024; TIME: 11:00 a.m.

You must register online for each tour, and pay using this link (

There is a limit of 20 in each tour. Our tour guides, who will have microphones, will lead you through the tour, and share with you our researched brochure. Face masks are recommended but optional. The fee for each tour is $15, which supports the Edgewater Historical Society Museum.

Here are descriptions of all 8 walking tours and their scheduled dates/times: [more...]


blacklistedJoin us Sunday June 30 at 5 p.m. at the Colvin House, 5940 N. Sheridan Rd., for a special concert, Blacklisted!, referring to performers who were blacklisted during the McCarthy era in the 1950s. Professional Cabaret singers and Carla Gordon, who produced the show, will perform. Before and after the show, 3-4 The Road will play protest songs of the era in the outside courtyard.

Tickets are $20 and are available at the door or from Click here for a flyer.

Homegrown history: Honoring Edgewater's heritage trees (2023)

After a non-winter and very cold spring, summer finally seems to be coming to Chicago. So what better time for the Edgewater Historical Society (EHS) to launch its latest initiative – Honoring Edgewater’s Heritage Trees. The initiative is multi-faceted and features an exhibit at our museum, a series of tree-related lecture programs, and most importantly a survey of all of Edgewater’s “heritage trees” or those that are more than 50 years old.

This ambitious program grew out of an effort by the Edgewater Glen Association (EGA) block club, when residents became concerned after seeing a number of their majestic parkway trees cut down in recent years. Spearheaded by local resident Andrea Raila, a complete survey of EGA’s parkway trees – along Norwood, Glenlake, Hood and Granville – was conducted over the past year, and the findings and methodology of the survey are documented in the Heritage Tree Audit booklet and the Tree Survey instructions.

New exhibit: As Time Goes By in Edgewater - 1885 to the Present

“As Time Goes By” is the title of the newest exhibit at the Edgewater Historical Society Museum, 5358 N. Ashland, which opens the weekend of May 28-29, and will continue for many months.

The exhibit features 150 photos of the story of Edgewater from 1885 to the present. A special section tells the story of the Edgewater Beach Hotel. In the months to come there will be more features on the Schools and Churches in Edgewater.

The exhibit will be open during regular museum hours, but special tours may be arranged for a small donation.

New Exhibit: Indigenous Edgewater: Exploring Native History

EHS presents our newest exhibit, “Indigenous Edgewater - Exploring Native History.” The exhibit documents Indigenous culture from 10,000 years ago to the present day. The Indigenous Edgewater exhibit will be available on Saturdays and Sundays from 1 to 4 p.m. at 5358 N. Ashland Ave.

Natives have lived in the Edgewater area for over 10,000 years. Marsha Holland, exhibit co-curator, discusses Native history in the greater Edgewater area, focusing on the archeological findings of Bowmanville Village and beyond. To view, click here.

Without Natives, would we have Chicago as we know it? Marjorie Fritz-Birch, exhibit co-curator, explores Native contributions to the greater Edgewater area and beyond. To view, click here.

"Remembering Edgewater Beach Hotel" interviews

There have been two recent radio interviews with Kathy Gemperle and John Holden, the authors of “Remembering Edgewater Beach Hotel.” If you want to hear the interviews, they can be found at:

WGN Radio: After Hours with Rick Hogan on July 25, 2021

WCPT Radio: Where Are They Now with Art Andros on November 20, 2021

Virtual Museum exhibits

EHS MuseumWe invite you on a virtual curator’s tour of our recent exhibits:

Edgewater Beach Hotel: 100 Years Later

The Chicago Conspiracy Trial: One Juror’s Ordeal

High Water and Hell: Rising Lake Puts Chicago on Edge

Here is another past exhibit you may remember:

Greetings from Edgewater (2012): description and video

Chicago History Book Group (Past)

The next meeting of the Chicago History Book Club will be Saturday, June 8, 2024 at 10:00 a.m. in the Betty A. Barclay Community Room at the Edgewater Branch of the Chicago Public Library, 6000 N. Broadway.

The subject of the meeting is “The Tunnel under the Lake: The Engineering Marvel That Saved Chicago” By Benjamin Sells. Click here for a flyer.

Chicago History Book Group (Past)

The next meeting of the Chicago History Book Club will be Saturday, April 13, 2024 at 10:00 a.m. in the Betty A. Barclay Community Room at the Edgewater Branch of the Chicago Public Library, 6000 N. Broadway.

The subject of the meeting is “Broken Icarus: The 1933 Chicago’s World Fair, the Golden Age of Aviation, and the Rise of Fascism” By David Hanna. Click here for a flyer.

A tree grows in Edgewater! (Past)

Edgewater is one of Chicago’s premier neighborhoods for trees. Over the past year, dedicated volunteers working with the Edgewater Historical Society (EHS) have surveyed and documented all our community’s “Heritage Trees” – or those which are 50 years and older.* The results may surprise you!

Please join EHS for our Arbor Day festivities on Friday, April 26, at 5 p.m. at our museum, located at 5358 N. Ashland Ave., where we will:

  • reveal the results of our survey, including which block clubs had the most trees
  • discuss some of the key findings of our campaign
  • identify looming challenges to Edgewater’s – and Chicago’s – tree canopy
  • discuss next steps for continuing our crusade for our leafy friends

Special guests at the program will include local alderpersons, members of the Mayoral Urban Forestry Committee, OpenLands, representatives of the Save the Ash Tree campaign, and other tree advocates. Refreshments, including adult beverages, will be served.

* The Edgewater Glen Association block club initiated Edgewater’s first tree survey in 2023 and was the inspiration for the larger community effort.

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